Folate degradation due to ultraviolet radiation: possible implications for human health and nutrition

Nutr Rev. 2012 Jul;70(7):414-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2012.00485.x. Epub 2012 May 22.


Folate is essential for human health in the prevention of megaloblastic anemia and neural tube birth defects and plays important roles in cardiovascular disease and cancer. Therefore, research into environmental factors that may impact folate status, such as solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation, is of great health significance. In vitro studies have shown that UV radiation can degrade folate and folic acid in human blood and this has been confirmed in several human studies. Despite these findings, there is a dearth of epidemiological research into investigating the relationship between folate status and the links to solar UV exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Megaloblastic / prevention & control
  • Folic Acid / blood
  • Folic Acid / radiation effects*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Neural Tube Defects / prevention & control
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*
  • Vitamin B Complex / blood
  • Vitamin B Complex / radiation effects*


  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Folic Acid